John Burbank, executive director of the labor-funded Economic Opportunity Institute, is aiming to replace Democrat State Representative Reuven Carlyle (who is planning a state Senate run) by appointment—he has failed to win election in the past. That might explain why Burbank has been out ceaselessly championing a state income tax, Democrats’ “guiding principle.”
In an op-ed for the Everett Herald, Burbank points to the state Supreme Court’s McCleary-driven $100,000 per day fine on the state and claims that the “state government underfunds all over the place.” Burbank estimates that the state requires $5 billion more to meet what he views as spending necessities. And, according to Burbank, that won’t happen “because our tax system is not tethered to growth in income.” He goes on to claim that it “would also be incredibly easy to get this money, if we had the political leadership willing to do so.” Burbank writes (emphasis added),
“How can that be? Look to Amazonia on South Lake Union or across I-405 to Redmond, or to the tony neighborhoods of Hunts Point and Medina. Note the new buildings, new cars, new remodels, new houses, and realize that is just the tip of the iceberg of new income and wealth in our state. The beneficiaries, indeed the takers, of this wealth, gain it thanks to our public legal system, public transportation infrastructure, public-owned utilities, public schools, public safety and public higher education. And yet, because we don’t tax income at all, we leave the biggest building blocks for education on the table. All of this income stays with the house. In staying with the house, it just makes worse the aggregation of income, privilege, power, and wealth to the top 1 percent, while undermining and under financing public services.”
Burbank’s sense of entitlement to other people’s earned income is more than a little ridiculous. That he would refer to any person rightfully earning money as a “taker” reveals everything you need to know about his far-left ideological position.
Burbank continually fails to take into account one simple fact: Washington voters have repeatedly rejected a state income tax. Plain and simple: Washingtonians do not want a state income tax. He also ignores the fact that just because he believes and/or promises revenue from a state income tax on “high earners” would be used to bring about the proverbial rainbows and puppies for all, it doesn’t mean it actually will. The reality is that revenue brought in by the state income tax in question will not be used for all the things that liberals promise. The track record of Democrats in our state over the past thirty years is all the evidence needed.
It is becoming abundantly apparent that the far-left is—once again—organizing around the idea of a state income tax on “high earners” (which, based on Democrats’ track record, will quickly become an income tax on everyone). The left is now using the state Supreme Court’s $100,000 fine as an excuse to champion a state income tax. You can expect to see this message repeated again and again moving forward.